In Mathew Christ says

Mathew 5:17(NKJV)

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy (καταλύω)(throw down,do away make void) the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

But the Apostle Paul says in

Ephesians 2:15(NKJV)

15 having abolished (καταργέω) (do away,cease,put away)in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace

Paul goes further in (Romans 7:6) to reinstate his position concerning the law & I have been trying to reconcile the above texts but I'm finding it hard to understand the concept


Most modern scholarship tends to hold that Matthew was written no earlier than 60 CE, using Q as a source which is speculatively dated around 45-70 CE, and Mark which is similarly dated around 55-70 CE.

Meanwhile, Ephesians is often dated between 62-80 CE, so it really depends on your view of the authorship of these different documents. I'd personally date Ephesians early, so around 62 CE compared with Matthew which couldn't really be much earlier. Therefore you'd expect that with Matthew being such a 'new' document (if it existed at all at Ephesians' time of writing), the author would have to reference it explicitly if he was talking about it at all.

So no, I don't think Ephesians was intended to contradict Matthew here - the text doesn't state it, and dating would lead us to doubt the likelihood that Matthew was early enough or commonly known enough for the Ephesians author to reference it so casually, without naming it.

Though assuming Matthew's based on an oral tradition, that doesn't necessarily confirm that the Ephesians author wasn't attempting to disagree with that tradition - that's a possibility, though not one I personally take seriously.

  • (+1) for pointing out the probable lack of contemporaneity. – user10231 Jan 21 '17 at 1:17

i would advocate the position that his purpose was to fulfil the prophetical law (i.e. Isiah etc) as he who would save us from the original laws of moses. if he abolished the laws of moses, what would we need saving from ?


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